Murder victim may have been fed to pigs

Scientists from the government laboratory in Lisbon (LPC) have searched the area of Figueira, in Portimão, for clues as to the whereabouts of missing eight-year-old Joana’s body.

It has been alleged in the Portuguese press that the Faro Polícia Judiciária (PJ) authorities believe that Joana discovered her mother, Leonor, and uncle, João Cipriano, who are both currently in jail on suspicion of Joana’s murder, were involved in an incestuous relationship. The authorities allegedly believe that, in a bid to keep the child quiet, they killed her and disposed of the body.

Now, a source from the LPC has revealed that the police are considering the possibility that the young girl’s body was fed to the family’s animals, possibly the pigs. According to the source, evidence suggests that the body may have been chopped into small pieces.

The source went on to theorise that her mother and uncle may have thought it would be the best way to dispose of all the evidence. Several items from the girl’s home have also been confiscated, among them a freezer, where, what is believed to have been pork joints, were stored for several weeks after the girl disappeared. In the meantime, Joana’s stepfather’s scrap yard continues to be searched nearly every day by the local authorities. Recent developments in the Joana case have involved one of his employees, mechanic Carlos Pinto, in the disappearance of the girl’s body. It is thought that his tow truck was outside the house on the night Joana disappeared, and then drove off at 3am.